Return to Transcripts main page


U.S. Coronavirus Cases Top 1.2 Million; Death Toll Tops 73,000; Ex-CDC Director: "We're Just at the Beginning" of the Pandemic; Trump: "People Won't Stand for" Continued Shutdowns; Health Expert: No State has Met WH Criteria for Reopening; New Human Vaccine Trials Underway in U.S. as Pfizer Predicts "Millions" of Doses Could be Ready by Year's End; ADP: More Than 20M Private Sector U.S. Jobs Lost in April; Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Discusses About 20 Million Job Losses in America. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired May 6, 2020 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Their daughter tells us she is so grateful for the compassion of medical staff including the nurses who were there with her parents in their final moments when she couldn't be. To those families and all the families mourning tonight, may your loved ones rest in peace and may their memories be a blessing.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, the President pushing states to reopen despite rising case numbers in 19 states and not one single state in the United States meeting the White House's own standards to reopen.

Plus, Pfizer says it could distribute up to 20 million vaccine doses by the end of the year. I'm going to speak to the lead researcher for this trial.

And thermal cameras, there are cell phone apps that could track whether your social distancing. Is this the way Americans will go back to work?

Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, we're just at the beginning. That warning tonight from the former Director of the CDC, Tom Frieden. Frieden sounding the alarm before Congress as the death toll from coronavirus in this country tonight tops 73,000. The number of cases, 1.2 million.

Again, to emphasize that death toll is now where the White House's model had estimated it would be in August and the number of deaths and cases growing as more hotspots emerge across the country. There are only 13 states where the number of cases are going down and they do include New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Three states hit especially hard by coronavirus and three states that currently are almost entirely closed. And that is crucial, because when you actually look at the number of cases overall in the United States, and this is an important point to make, you can see that line, it's trending down slightly.

Now, let's just remove the New York metro area. Just take it out to show you how the graphic looks. OK. So this is a graphic from The New York Times which as you can see looks dramatically different. So the number of new cases nationwide when you just take out this metro area is increasing. You can see this yourself.

And yet despite a top expert testifying before Congress today that not one state, not a single state has met President Trump's own published criteria to reopen, President Trump himself is pushing governors to relax stay-at-home orders and get people back to work.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think people won't stand for it. Actually, I don't think our people will stand for it. We can't have our whole country out. We can't do it. Again, the country won't take it. It won't stand it. It's not sustainable.


BURNETT: Athena Jones begins our coverage OUTFRONT in New York tonight. And Athena, some surprising reopening news tonight as we look across the country from Los Angeles.

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Erin. That's right. We weren't sure this is what's going to happen, but just in the last hour or so we've learned that Los Angeles, the most densely populated county in California will begin to reopen on Friday along with the rest of the state.

Trails, golf courses, car dealerships and florists are among those being allowed to reopen along with retail shops for curbside pickup.


JONES(voice over): States across the country rolling the dice as they begin to lift restrictions aimed at halting a virus that data show is still spreading in many places. New infections rising in 20 states, hotspots include Minnesota, Nebraska and Texas where Dallas County has seen a jump in new cases.

In Tennessee, the Governor last night announcing businesses like bowling alleys and miniature golf can reopen Friday, even as he continues to promote social distancing. By Sunday, at least 43 states will be partially reopened despite signs that not only have not all of them met federal guidelines suggesting a 14-day decline in new cases before reopening, but that some in fact are seeing cases rise.

This as experts warn that given the virus' incubation period, we won't know the full effect of these moves for weeks and that the gains states have made could swiftly be lost.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D) NEW YORK: You have states that are opening where you still are in the incline. I think that's a mistake.


JONES(voice over): The reopen is creating a confusing picture for Americans as recent state and federal actions suggest the epidemic has abated even amid strong warnings of the risk.

In Atlanta, startling video of people celebrating Cinco de Mayo, many not wearing masks. The Mayor says they missed the message.


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D) ATLANTA: They didn't get to the part that said that this is still a deadly virus and that you needed to continue to socially distance and wear masks.


JONES(voice over): In New York where we opening has yet to begin an unprecedented move to prepare for that day. New York City shutting down the subway system overnight for deep cleaning.

On Gov. Andrew Cuomo's orders, the State's health department has issued an advisory to health care providers to be on the lookout for a potential complication of COVID-19. A serious inflammatory disease affecting children with as many as 64 potential cases being reported.


Symptoms include persistent fever, rash and even cardiovascular symptoms requiring intensive care. A similar complication in the U.K. where researchers have reported eight children showing the rare symptoms.

Meanwhile, with researchers in Britain saying there's genetic evidence the virus was infecting people in Europe and the U.S. late last year, the Cook County, Illinois medical examiner now plans to review previous deaths involving heart attacks and pneumonia for indications of COVID-19 as far back as November. A new study shows the virus is killing more African-Americans in the U.S. than any other group.

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research using data from mid April finding that while blacks make up just 13 percent of the population, counties with higher black populations account for more than half of the coronavirus cases and nearly 60 percent of deaths from COVID-19.


GREG MILLET, VP AND DIR., PUBLIC POLICY, AMFAR: We were hoping by releasing our study results early that it can help give some of these states pause so that they can understand that there is going to be disproportionate impact.


JONES(voice over): Also disproportionate police enforcement of social distancing say leaders like New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries who worries officers are using excessive force in black and brown neighborhoods, while handing out mass to sunbathers.


JONES: And one more sign right here in New York of this virus is staying power while new cases and hospitalizations continue to decline. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today there is a new hotspot in two counties upstate, Madison County and Oneida County. Dozens of employees of a greenhouse farm testing positive for the virus, another example of dense working conditions aiding its spread. Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Athena, thank you very much.

And I want to go out front now to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. William Schaffner who's a former CDC official as well now professor of infectious disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

So Sanjay, you heard the expert at Johns Hopkins, no state has met the criteria to reopen, but 43 of them are currently in the process of reopening various degrees of that.


BURNETT: I guess, the question that the country now is going to find the answer out to but it's - what's your instinct here were the reopening criteria which required two weeks of declining cases a mistake to begin with or will these reopenings this soon have major consequences?

GUPTA: No. I don't think the criteria were a mistake to begin with. I think most people sort of agreed with these criteria. They were fairly well-spelled out, 14 days of downward trend of confirmed cases, 14-day downward trend of the symptoms of influenza like illness, but also having enough hospital capacity, having enough testing capacity and being able to contact race.

The idea was that you're probably going to have new infections anytime you reopen, Erin. I mean, I think people have accepted that. The question is how much and are you able to contain those new infections, immediately test, immediately isolate and contact trace. That just takes infrastructure.

As Dr. Fauci has said, I mean, there many states that are just sort of springboarding through these criteria, even if people agree with them, they're not following them. So if you did that, you'd have a much better chance of doing this opening up as responsibly as possible.

BURNETT: Right. And, of course, in major metro areas, maybe you've met the capacity issue with hospitals. You're not there and testing, you're not there and contract tracing, you're not there in isolation and, obviously, in many last metro areas you're certainly not there in hospital capacity either.

Dr. Schaffner, President Trump, again, he's saying people just won't stand for it. He wants to reopen the country. When you look at the National picture though and I just want to again show these two charts because I want to understand what they mean. When you look at the overall numbers, you do see this plateau.

Now, by the way when you compare it to other countries, they see a big drop. You don't see that in this country at all. You see this plateau, this tabletop. But when you take up a New York City metro area, you actually see an increase. OK. And the slope actually seems to be of that line accelerating versus where it was just a bit ago. What do you read into these charts, Dr. Schaffner?

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR, INFECTIOUS DISEASE DIVISION, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: Well, Erin, I think that testing is increasing around the country and if you do more testing, you'll find more cases. All indicating that this virus is more widespread out there than even now we have anticipated.

So with this increased testing, we'll find more cases and that should make us even more cautious about how it is we open up. We've got to do it carefully just as Sanjay has said. Social distancing must be the rule. We've got to keep wearing our masks, hand hygiene and keeping away from people. That's the only way now we have to try to reduce the spread of this virus. This virus is not going away.

BURNETT: And Sanjay to that point, yesterday, we were told the White House was winding down the coronavirus task force, right, in just a few weeks. And today President Trump changed his mind.


He said he didn't realize how popular it was, but he said the task force on Twitter will continue on indefinitely with its focus on safety and opening up our country again. We may add or subtract people to it as appropriate. The task force will be very focused on vaccines and therapeutics, which - this is a shift, OK, and it's certainly a shift in rhetorically, it's focusing on reopening and vaccines, is this what it should look like?

GUPTA: Well, if there was ever a time to be multitasking on something, Erin, this is it. I mean, I think the idea, first of all that these states are starting to reopen, I think is a significant concern. I think the idea that people are talking about I want to open up hair salons is going to seem like such a trivial thing a few weeks from now. I can't believe that we're even talking about that, given what might happen in some of these places as we start to reopen.

So that has to be addressed and I think the coronavirus task force, again, I mean, I think that they put out these gating criteria which are, I think, fairly easy to understand. I'm just sort of surprised that that part of the conversation seems to have been lost in many of these states.

But yes, vaccines and therapeutics continue to be important as well and there's lots of teams that are working on that all over the world. One thing, Erin, that is worth pointing out, there are places around the world that have gotten on the back end of this curve. You look at a place like New Zealand, obviously, much smaller, there

are success stories. It doesn't have to feel all gloom and doom. There's a way to do this and we've seen that happen, even with this current pandemic.

BURNETT: So Dr. Schaffner, one thing I'm curious about, though, and people are trying to understand how this spreads, because obviously social distancing is not happening everywhere and it's happening to different extents and that explains some of the spread.

But it also, when you look at New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo today was looking at people who are currently hospitalized and he was giving some data about them. And he was saying, look, they weren't working or traveling and obviously very few people have been doing that outside the home recently.

But he knows that the people who are in there now are predominantly non essential employees, OK, and that means they were predominantly at home at the time of infection. He said they were not working or working from home. What does that say to you? You've had people home here in this area of the country for eight, nine weeks, non-essential employees who are not going to work are getting infected. How could that be?

SCHAFFNER: Well, Erin, we haven't done really careful case investigation of these folks who have gotten so sick and you really need to know in depth exactly what their behaviors have been. Have they gone outside? Have they had visitors? How carefully have they adhered to social distancing guidelines?

We really don't know that about these folks. The virus doesn't fly in through the windows. It has to come from close personal contact. They've had personal contact with someone who had the virus, who might not have symptoms. All the more reason to keep up the social distancing and wearing the masks.

BURNETT: Right. Thank you both very much.

And OUTFRONT next, the race for a cure. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer says they will have millions of vaccine doses by the end of the year. I'm going to speak to the lead researcher on Pfizer's vaccine trial.

Plus, the President still urging the Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare in the middle of a pandemic, even against the wishes of his own Attorney General.

And Rockefeller Center, it's one of the most iconic buildings in America. But will going back to work mean thermal cameras and apps tracking your every move, would you allow it? I'll speak to the owner of one of the buildings there.



BURNETT: Tonight, President Trump considering naming a vaccine tsar as the race for a coronavirus vaccine intensifies. This comes as the first New York volunteers have been injected with a potential vaccine developed by Pfizer, which claims it could have 20 million doses ready by the end of the year, according to Reuters.

OUTFRONT now, the Lead Researcher for that Pfizer trial, Dr. Mark Mulligan. He's also the Director of NYU's Vaccine Center. And Dr. Mulligan, I appreciate your time tonight. So you just started human trials yesterday. How soon, given that, do you think you'll know whether your vaccine works now that it's in human trials?

DR. MARK MULLIGAN, LEAD RESEARCHER, PFIZER CORONAVIRUS VACCINE TRIAL AT NYU LANGONE: Yes. We started this week and normally it takes three to four months to establish that the vaccine is safe. That's actually the most important first question. And then, we want to know if it's tolerated well and if it produces an antibody response that might be protective.

After those first three or four months, you go on to the question, does it protect and that will take several months as well. So I do really think we're talking about getting through to the end of the year and into early next year before we would have a definitive answer.

BURNETT: OK. So, yes, because if you're doing three or four months, that's May, June, July/August and then you're saying you've got to do the efficacy part of the trial that gets you to the end of the year, so that's early next year.

So when the President has been backing off his prediction about having a vaccine by the end of the year, that jives with what you're saying. But you're now saying that this does go into 2021 before you fully know if it works, never mind actually injecting regular people with it.

MULLIGAN: Part of it like so much else with this pandemic, Erin, depends on what's happening. It's a very fluid situation. If we still have a lot of transmission in the autumn when these trials go to their efficacy testing stage, we'll get an answer quicker. But if cases are way down, it's going to take longer because you've got to accumulate enough infections in the control arm to see if the vaccine arm of the study is making a difference.

BURNETT: So let me ask you about that, Dr. Mulligan, because when people hear about vaccines, now we're all learning a lot of things we didn't know before. But there has been an assumption that if you're in a trial, you then get exposed to the virus and that's not how they work, right? You do have to be naturally exposed to it.

Why not, I guess, if people are willing to do that to be exposed to the virus and that gets you the answer much more quickly as to whether it works, why not do it? I know you've deliberately chosen not to push for that path.

MULLIGAN: Yes. Let me explain first quickly the standard paradigm for vaccine development, phase one, two, three, 10s of people initially establish safety. [19:20:01]

Vaccines are given most commonly to healthy people to keep them healthy. They have to be safe. And then hundreds of people to get further safety data and began to look at the antibody response. And then finally, thousands of people in the efficacy phase when you have half getting placebo, half getting vaccine.

So that's the standard approach and believe it or not talking about a one year timeline here or maybe a little better, if we're very lucky, that's a blazing process for vaccine development. You're starting to raise another question, which is about human challenge trials. That's not the traditional method for developing vaccines.

On the other hand, it is something that has been done for influenza, for malaria, for norovirus, so human trials can be done, but that is not the standard approach and that's not what we're talking about when we talk about a vaccine program like the one we launched this week.

BURNETT: OK. So look, I know you're optimistic, but I do this because there's been so much focus on your particular trial and company. You're saying April 2021, you're saying a year from now or May 2021 would make sense and maybe you could do a little bit better than that. That's what you just said.

Of course, your research chief told Reuters you could distribute 20 million doses by the end of this year. So that's obviously two very different perspectives. Is he just assuming that the virus is way more active in the fall and therefore more people are exposed, what accounts for that difference?

MULLIGAN: Yes. I think we're talking about a couple of different things. One is how quickly will science provide us with an answer and it's going to take some time. And then the other question is how quickly can we move in parallel to ramp up production so that as soon as we have the answer, that this vaccine or any vaccine is one that will be useful, that should be deployed in populations, that we have the ability to ramp up quickly.

So a lot of things are happening in parallel that normally would happen in series. We're doing things in months that normally would be done in years. And so I think that's what we're talking about doing things sort of at the same time where we're still going to you said I'm optimistic, well, it really doesn't matter. Science will give us the answer here. We do a well-controlled clinical trial, we'll figure out and we'll know, without a doubt, if the vaccine works or it doesn't and that will tell us if we go forward with deploying millions of doses or not.

BURNETT: All right. Dr. Mulligan, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

MULLIGAN: You're welcome.

BURNETT: And next, more than 20 million private sector jobs gone as the nation braces for one of the worst jobs reports in American history. Is there any help on the way for 10s of millions of Americans? And hospital said to be seeing a major drop in heart attacks amid the pandemic, why?

Our Dr. Jonathan Reiner, one of the nation's top cardiologists is with me.



BURNETT: New tonight, more than 20 million private sector jobs gone just in the month of April, according to payroll processing company ADP. And this as even the White House warns we could see Great Depression era like employment numbers now and we could find out about them in just hours.


KEVIN HASSETT, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: The jobs numbers are very, very chilling. And I think that it's very important to let people understand that in a very somber way that this is the biggest shock that our economy has ever seen.


BURNETT: Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT at the White House. And Kaitlan, the White House, obviously, the President making it clear he's focusing on reopening the economy. These jobs numbers are well aware of the pain here. The numbers though tell a very different story.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And Erin, what you're really seeing inside the White House is they are bracing for Friday, because they know it's going to be ugly. Kevin Hassett, that advise you just sought there who was recently brought back to the White House after leaving has been probably the most blunt out of anyone in the administration talking about what this is going to look like and some officials have speculated that's because they want to basically get people ready for how grim the news is going to be on Friday.

And so that's why there's been so many questions about what's going to be next with the White House in Congress on what they're deciding to do for people or is there going to be another bill, when is that going to come and what's going to be in it. Because we know that over the last few days, the President has made pretty clear his priorities are a payroll tax cut and deductions for businesses, for meals, entertainment, things like that.

Now, Democrats have said that's not helpful, because they don't believe that's what people need right now. And Erin, of course, Republicans have even been incredibly cool to the idea of a payroll tax cut saying that that's not going to help when you have millions of people filing these jobless claims.

So the question is, are they going to be able to come to any kind of agreement, because so far what you're hearing from a lot of Republican senators is they kind of want to take a step back and look and decide whether or not there's going to be any more spending, how much there should be, whether or not they're going to replenish that small business loan program, once again. And they don't seem to be on the same page with the President and they don't even be able to same page with each other.

And of course, this is incredibly important to Americans who wants to know what they're going to do as they're waiting, especially if they don't have a job right now and they're not getting paid. So right now it doesn't seem like any progress has been made on that, but we'll keep you updated.

BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much. And I want to go now to the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Senator, I appreciate your time.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Good evening, Erin.

BURNETT: So the numbers here are terrifying and terrible and something we never would have thought that we would see. And yet we are now seeing predictions of well over 20 million job losses in Friday's jobs report, 20 million people. And the White House Economic Adviser Kevin Hassett says this is going to be the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression. So you're going to go from one of the best rates to the worst in weeks.

I know you've been speaking to Speaker Pelosi, what are you planning to do about this?

SCHUMER: Well, we need a big bold answer to this. I am just appalled that Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy and the President himself say, let's wait back and see what's happening, maybe we don't have to do anything.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: And I want to go now to the Senate Minority Leader

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: We have the biggest economic and health crisis we have had in decades, as you have mentioned.


We need big, bold action and we need it soon. We need action to help those who are unemployed deal with their lives and not lose everything, their homes, their ability to feed their kids, their ability to get healthcare.

We need to make sure that businesses get -- the small businesses get the help that they need. We need our state and local governments, which are our firefighters and our police officers and our bus drivers, we need them not to be laid off. And our Republican friends seem to be twiddling their thumbs. And one more thing, Erin -- tonight, amazingly enough, the president

said that he and the Republican Party are sticking with repealing the ACA. Here we have millions of people who --

BURNETT: The Affordable Care Act.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: The Affordable Care Act. We have millions of people losing their health care. We have so many people who have preexisting conditions who need help. And they say get rid of all that in the midst of a crisis.

How tone-deaf can they be? How removed from the statistics you're mentioning can they be? And each statistic represents a personal heartbreak for somebody. How can they do this? I am just utterly amazed.

They stick to this right-wing ideology which helps a few very well-to- do people and say to the rest of America, let's fiddle? Which is what they're doing while America is in many ways burning.

BURNETT: So, you know, you said, you know, as part of this big and bold plan, you want to help state and local governments. And to be honest, the states will go bankrupt without it. That is the reality.


BURNETT: But the former White House economic adviser Gary Cohn recently told me he believed large amounts of borrowing and spending was creating a long term problem that could turn into the next crisis, right? Right now, it's no problem to borrow all this money, but you've already got $3 trillion on the tab. I mean, that -- that's bigger and bolder than any of us could ever imagine we go -- yes?


SCHUMER: This was -- this was the Gary -- this was the Gary Cohn who led a $2 trillion tax cut that mainly went to the wealthy and the high-income people.

The bottom line is very simple. This crisis is horrible. It is so bad that if we don't take big, bold action, our deficit will be worse. There will be fewer people --


SCHUMER: -- paying taxes. There will be fewer people contributing to the national wealth. And it will be worse.

And we don't have the kind of situation where we can sit back and say let things unfold as they are without actually possibly moving into a depression. Some of the biggest economists, smartest economists --


SCHUMER: -- say if we do nothing, nothing, we'll have a depression.

Yet that's what Trump, McCarthy and McConnell seem to be saying.

BURNETT: Yet, yet, I guess the question to you is, $3 trillion that we've -- that's already been allocated. And that is -- that is a lot of money. It is an insanely huge amount of money and I understand you want to go big and bold, but that is big and bold.

So, how much more? Are you doubling that, tripling that? Do you have a sense of the amount of money that you think this is worth?

SCHUMER: Look, we need -- we -- we need to look at the problems and solve them. That's what we need to do. And that is the number one goal that should happen for the good of health care, for the good of the economy.

We don't spend active money on testing in our hospitals. You've seen that there are hot spots popping up all over the place right now. What is -- what will be the result there?

More people will lose their jobs. More people will not want to go out. More businesses will fold.

This is a crisis. This is not simply you take out a page out of a conservative playbook, conservative economics handbook of 2017. This is new. Adapt to the times.

Let me say something. When we had the Great Depression, there were people who said, let's sit and do nothing.

BURNETT: Yes, there were.

SCHUMER: They didn't go down in history very well. Franklin Roosevelt did.

BURNETT: You're back in Washington this week, Senator. People can see where you are.


BURNETT: And, you know, we've seen some senators wearing masks, Senators Burr and Warner at a hearing. Others when walking through the halls.

But not all of them. One of the few not wearing a mask is Republican Senator Rand Paul. You can see him there with Mike Lee.


BURNETT: Mike Lee is wearing a mask.

Senator Paul says he already got coronavirus and, you know, so he can't get sick again. Obviously, we don't -- we don't know if that's true or not.

SCHUMER: I think, look --

BURNETT: But should he be wearing the mask? SCHUMER: I think that the senator should set the right example. All

the medical advisers tell us we should wear masks. I -- I don't wear the mask when I do an interview, but I wear it all the rest of the time, and so should everybody else.

BURNETT: Right. And I wear one in and out of here, too. Of course, obviously, if you're socially distanced, so I understand the point you're making.


BURNETT: All right. Well, Senator, I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you very much.

SCHUMER: Thank you. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

BURNETT: And next, what is behind a sudden drop in heart attacks around the country amid this pandemic? Dr. Jonathan Reiner, cardiologist, who's seeing this on the frontlines is OUTFRONT.

Plus, one of the most iconic buildings in New York is getting ready for employees to head back. So, what does that mean? Who's going to be watching you? Thermal cameras and apps tracking everything you do.



BURNETT: Across the United States, doctors are seeing a drop off in cardiovascular emergencies during the coronavirus pandemic and they're calling the drop staggering, unlike anything they've seen before.

Dr. Jonathan Reiner joins me now. He advised White House medical team under President George W. Bush, and he is currently the director of the cardiac cath lab at George Washington University Hospital.

So, Dr. Reiner, you're a cardiologist. You've been in, you know, in with patients doing surgeries, as I know daily. What are you seeing?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Yes, this is really fascinating. Soon after the stay-at-home measures were begun almost two months ago, cardiologists around the country and around the world started to notice something really unexpected, which was their almost daily cases of acute myocardial infraction heart attacks stopped coming.

And all over the world, physicians noted a decrease of about 40 percent in patients presenting with heart attacks. It was really very hard to explain.

Some people suggest that maybe there was something about, you know, our new daily routine, the lack of commute, maybe the cleaner air, more sleep that was reducing heart attacks. But I think what we've really come to understand is something much worse, which is we think many people just aren't coming to the hospital and people are staying home. [19:40:07]

Places like New York have seen up to a five, six or seven-fold increase in out-of-hospital deaths. And we think many of these patients are simply not coming to the hospital for fear of contracting COVID-19.

BURNETT: So they're dying -- they're just dying outside the hospital and maybe they wouldn't have died if they were able -- if they come to the hospital where could you have helped them.

REINER: That's right. The "New York Times" published an analysis of all cause of mortality, data from the CDC. And if you compare basically mortality in places like New York since mid March, there's been this huge excess in death, 23,000 more people have died during that period than last year, but only some of that can be accounted for by COVID-19.

So, either we're undercounting COVID-19, which is possible, but also just as likely other things are happening. Cigna accomplished utilization data and they've noticed append appendicitis and mini strokes and gastrointestinal bleeds and atrial fibrillation. So, we think what's happen and this is -- you know, going to be collateral damage to the viral infection is that people haven't sought medical help for serious illnesses over the last two months.

BURNETT: Which is a -- which is a pretty incredible statement, because I mean, you suppose you could be both undercounting COVID-19 and having -- the excess is so enormous that both things could be true. I realize that.

But, you do believe the bottom line is that is it possible that you have more people, and I would presume the answer to this yes, because people are going to hospital, you would save some of these lives. It possible' possible you have more people dying than you had before, we just aren't categorizing them that way.

REINER: We're seeing in New York where it used to be in New York City, there would be 35 out of hospital deaths and now they're seeing 200 out of hospital deaths per day. Now, some of that may be COVID deaths but a lot of that is also probably other illness not treated in the hospitals.

BURNETT: So, earlier, Dr. Reiner, you and I were talking about Brazil. You know, everyone is talking about the warmer countries and what that means for the United States in the summer.

In Brazil, where obviously Jair Bolsonaro, the president, has called this a little flu, he's been going to massive rallies against social distancing. He has done this at a level that perhaps no one else has. We had a huge spike in the past 24 hours. I don't know if you just saw these numbers, they just came out, 10,503 known new infections, known I should emphasize, in just 24 hours in Brazil. I mean, it's a huge surge.

What is the significance here in terms of -- it's clearly not under control there and there's very little effort to control it.

REINER: Yes. Well, it's obviously a cautionary tale, a very ominous cautionary tale.

Bolsonaro has been a president who has denied the significance of the -- and doubted the significance of the coronavirus. He's gone to rallies to shake the hands of the protesters. He's called the virus a little flu. And that resonates through the population.

Look, what we know works is mitigation strategies such as stay at home and social distancing and when people start to move away from that, the virus spreads. You're seeing that happen in Brazil now. We need to think about that as we start to open up the United States economy. We immediate to use that as an example of what happens if we lessen our guard and we open too quickly or imprudently.

BURNETT: Dr. Reiner, thank you.

REINER: Sure, my pleasure.

BURNETT: And next, an app that tracks your every move. Is that going to be the new normal?

Plus, Jeanne Moos on a father and son duo spending their quarantine time practicing baseball and look how it paid off.



BURNETT: Tonight, thermal cameras that automatically take temperatures, apps on your phone that track whether you're really social distancing. This could be the new normal for many Americans going back to work.

For Rockefeller Center in New York City, these are just some of the measures under consideration.

OUTFRONT now is Scott Rechler. He's the chairman and CEO of real estate company RXR which owns the 32- story tower at Rockefeller Center.

I appreciate your time. Let's start with this app you've been designing. Employees will have it on their smartphones by the end of the month as they perhaps are starting to come back to work. How does it work?

SCOTT RECHLER, RXR REALTY CHAIRMAN & CEO: So, you know, we've had obviously a horrific time in New York for the last two and a half months, but as we've been thinking about going back to work, which is now the time to do that, we're not going to go back to the new normal. We're going back to the new abnormal. Until there's a vaccine, you need to social distance, you'd have different behaviors in the past.

So, what we're trying to do is create a tool so as people come through our buildings, people can feel safe, know they're safe, have transparency of what's happening in our buildings and make sure not only are they safe, their colleagues are safe and the community at large is safe.

So, it's a change of lifestyle. So, start from the beginning. In the morning, you'll get a notice as to your overall health and wellness of the building. We'll have a code.

We've before working with public health officials to actually develop where you take information in terms of temperatures of people in the building, you take air quality of the building, humidity, a whole series of data points and you'll have the quote.

So, if you're someone who's, for example, s susceptible, or pregnant, you may decide to work from that day as opposed to coming into the building.


If you walk into a lobby, you know, social distancing says you need to stay six feet away, we'll use to that.

So, we have these sensors that if you're not six feet away, someone will be notified and help guide you to stay six feet away as an example. So, that's just a couple of examples I have that's have to work.

BURNETT: Right. Look, these are things that make sense. They do make sense, right? You're going to have temperature checks as well. Is, of course, the question, though, that people have which is they may want to comply. They want these things. But there are blinding tracks. They're going to know where I am, I'm giving up my privacy to do this. Are you worried about that, that this -- you know, as a concept, going to be too invasive for people?

RECHLER: So, first and foremost, we're protecting all of our customers' privacy. We're working with Microsoft and their Azure product which is the same people that protect the privacy of the Pentagon. And so, privacy comes first. The data that we're collecting is anonymized data, so we really can't identify the actual person. We identify generality.

So we'll identify --

BURNETT: There will be no way for you to say it's my phone even though I'm not social distancing, as an example?

RECHLER: Exactly, I wouldn't know it's your phone. There's no facial recognition. It's really just tools that people can have. If there is information that would help someone, it would actually just be given to them. And then we're looking at the data in general, it will be anonymized data for us to look at just to see about the health and wellness of the building, the compliance of the social distancing, the compliance of the capacity.

Because when we open, we're not going to be able to open buildings at 100 percent. We're probably going to open our buildings at 20, 25 percent. And we're going to start trying to teach people how to operate in those buildings to be as productive as possible, but maintain the social contact and the sense of community of being in those buildings.

BURNETT: So what are you doing about all the legal questions? Dr. Fauci this week was saying -- and we're seeing it in New York data. Obviously we don't know what we don't know about people's situations. The people that seem to get this, say they've been staying at home, they have been working from home. Dr. Fauci said this spreads much more efficiently than influenza does. It takes one elevator button, you know, and you're deep cleaning every ten minutes. Somebody is in in that intervening time, right, and there you go.

How do you deal with that?

RECHLER: I mean, that exactly -- you emphasize so important why we're being proactive. With this app, people's workplaces are clean, they're going to get a notice that night that their workplace was cleaned. If anyone wants a deep cleaning, they can request that deep cleaning.

We're going to do it on a weekly basis, random spot-checks of the surfaces in the offices to see if we pickup the virus.

And so, I think in the beginning our objective, because of the concerns and because there is so much unknown, we're going to hit it with everything we've got so that our customers feel safe in the buildings, are safe in the buildings, and have transparency as to the health and wellness of the building and the people around them. As we learn more, we'll adjust and we'll adapt like we've all done as we go through this experience.

BURNETT: All right. Scott, I appreciate your time tonight. Thanks.

RECHLER: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And next, Jeanne with the story of a 4-year-old's first home run and his proud dad.



BURNETT: Tonight, in the face of this crisis, it's worth celebrating the small things.

Here's Jeanne.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the home run that hit home, not so much because of the ball. Going over the fence. As for the dad going out of his mind.

Cory Willig himself a former professional baseball player and now instructor celebrated his son's first home run. Celebrated it for longer than it took 4-year-old Asher to circle the bases. CORY WILLIG, FORMER PRO BASEBALL PLAYER: I was ecstatic because how

much went into this. I know how many swings he's taken.

MOOS: During our interview, Asher was the MVP of mugging for the camera, giving a look at his mouth, his teeth, even showing a little shoulder. Father and son had spent quarantine time practicing in front of their home. Asher hitting with such gusto, someone wondered how are the windows still intact?

The home run happened the same day Georgia's stay-at-home order was lifted.

C. WILLIG: He had so much energy built up and he just wanted to get out there and go.

MOOS: Asher has plenty of swagger on deck. He likes to tap the plate. And he loves to flip the bat. This baseball prodigy went viral once before. At 22 months, his bat handling got him invited on Jimmy Fallon's show for a hitting contest with A-Rod. Contest that Asher ostensibly won with A-Rod predicting --


MOOS: His react to the slugger few words, pronounced himself.


MOOS: His father's pitching as.

A. WILLIG: Best.

MOOS: And what he wants to be when he grows up?

A. WILLIG: A Junior.

MOOS: That would be Ronald Acuna, Jr., star outfielder of the Atlanta Braves who applauded Asher's home run with emoji. But watch your back, Acuna.

A. WILLIG: Bombs away.

MOOS: It's bombs away all right, even if it's his dad who detonates.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

C. WILLIG: You did it! You did it! You did it!


BURNETT: I like how he's all uniformed up and everything for that big first day out.

All right, thanks so much to all of you for joining us.

"AC360" as always with Anderson starts right now.